• 06.15.14

Starbucks To Pay Tuition For Its Employees’ Online Degrees

The company’s new “College Achievement Plan” will reimburse employees for their junior and senior year tuition for a degree from Arizona State University.

Starbucks To Pay Tuition For Its Employees’ Online Degrees
[Image: Starbucks via Rob Wilson / Shutterstock]

Starbucks is paying for its employees’ college educations, and that statement comes with fewer footnotes than you might expect.


The biggest asterisk is that students must be juniors or seniors enrolled full-time through Arizona State University’s online course program.

But employees don’t have to be full-time at Starbucks. Any employee working on average at least 20 hours per week is eligible for the program. Nor do they need to reimburse Starbucks in the future or continue working for Starbucks after they graduate.

They can enroll in any of ASU’s more than 40 online bachelor degree programs. Starbucks will fully reimburse tuition—about $11,500 per year–after each completed semester.

Students in ASU’s online courses are admitted through the university’s usual admissions process. They access course materials, turn in assignments, and interact with classmates and professors through an online portal. When they finish a program, they receive the same degree as students taking courses on the physical campus.

Though the Starbucks program is aimed at helping juniors and seniors complete their degrees, Starbucks is also beginning a partial tuition scholarship program for freshmen and sophomores.

About the author

Sarah Kessler is a senior writer at Fast Company, where she writes about the on-demand/gig/sharing "economies" and the future of work.